A Most Wanted Man
Looking for the perfect watch, cufflinks or accessory for your next clandestine encounter? Call in MR PORTER, your personal quartermaster…
Spy style: it’s all about the killer touches. A beautifully cut suit is all well and good, but if it’s not complemented by the right tie, the right watch and the right shoes – Oxfords, not brogues – then you won’t charm your way into the casino, you won’t blend in at the baccarat table, and your suave, come-hither glances certainly won’t be returned.
Never mind that the toe of said Oxfords is fitted with a razor-sharp retractable blade. Or that beneath the sapphire dome and sweeping hands of said watch there lies a 500,000-volt projectile dart. It should always be remembered that the primary purpose of these accessories is not to shock or stun – but to simply look the part. Without them, the archetypal image of a gentleman is incomplete.
That’s why, when MR PORTER joined forces with director Mr Matthew Vaughn and costume designer Ms Arianne Phillips to devise a shoppable wardrobe for the new spy movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, we didn’t just stop at tailoring. We brought together a dream team of British heritage designers to ensure that every detail was accounted for – from eyewear and eveningwear to cufflinks, umbrellas and even pens. Herein lies Kingsman: a full and true depiction of the wardrobe of a spy, and a new brand for the modern gentleman.
Rule Number One
When you raise your arm to shake the hand of another – whether friend or foe – it will expose your wrist, and whatever adorns it. The cufflinks on the left are made by Deakin & Francis, a family-run jeweller and silversmith with a history going back to 1786. The watch is by Bremont, a renowned watchmaker based on the banks of the River Thames in Henley, England, and comes with a rose-gold casing and alligator-leather strap. Together, they offer up a one-two punch of taste.
Rule Number Two
Picture the scene. You are the interrogator. Your subject sits before you, hooked up to a polygraph machine. An unlit cigarette hangs lazily between the fingers of his left hand. First impressions: a rakish sort, a rogue. You allow your eye to wander, taking in the rest of his appearance. If clothes make the man, you think, then what sort of a man is this? Your gaze falls on his expertly polished, Goodyear-welted Oxfords. You recognise them as the handiwork of George Cleverley – workshop in London’s Royal Arcade, former customers include Sir Winston Churchill – a brand of unquestionable repute. A kernel of doubt begins to form in your mind…
Rule Number Three
When it comes to concealing your identity at the world’s most elite gambling tables, a poker face just isn’t enough: you need to dress the part, too. Proper black tie demands a shirt with stud fastenings – this one is made by royal warrant holder Turnbull & Asser – and a self-tied bow tie, such as this handmade one from Drake’s. Only when a man has mastered the art of true elegance is he able to hide in plain sight.
Rule Number Four
A gentleman spy understands when to make himself known and when to hide. Accordingly, he keeps a minimum of two watches – one for show, and one for what those in the trade call “wet work”. The Kingsman collection by Bremont provides a timepiece for both scenarios. A rose-gold watch with alligator strap and three chronograph counters is perfect for the former, while this – a mat-black stealth model with black dial – is better suited for covert operations.
Rule Number Five
Many a historical conflict has been avoided through a few well-chosen words. The Kingsman pen is crafted by Conway Stewart; a company that has been serving the needs of men of letters for more than a century, and the briefcase is by Swaine Adeney Brigg; a leather goods company whose origins go back even further, having first been established as a whip manufacturer on London’s Piccadilly in 1750.
Photographed at 45 Park Lane, London dorchestercollection.com
Or try these
Kingsman Bremont ALT1-WT/WH World Timer Automatic Chronograph Watch
Kingsman Deakin & Francis Rose Gold-Plated Chevron Cufflinks
Kingsman Drake's Striped Woven-Silk Tie
Kingsman Drake's Pine-Printed Wool and Silk-Blend Pocket Square
Kingsman Deakin & Francis Rose Gold-Plated Keyring
Kingsman Smythson Leather Notebook